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Chawl land scam: Sanjay Raut to seek more time to appear before ED

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Mumbai, Jun 27: Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut has said that he won't be able to appear before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday as he has to attend a meeting in Alibaug.

"I knew ED is going to summon me, I won't kneel down. No matter what the rebel MLAs do, I'll not go to Guwahati. I'm Balasaheb's Shiv Sainik & I'll stay with my party. I'll not appear before ED tomorrow. I will seek time from ED, but will definitely go," Sanjay Raut told reporters.

Sanjay Raut

The ED has summoned Raut on Tuesday for questioning in a money-laundering probe linked to the re-development of a Mumbai 'chawl' and other related financial transactions involving his wife and friends.

The development comes as the Shiv Sena battles rebellion from a group of its MLAs, putting a question mark on the future of Maharashtra's Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.

. "I just came to know that the ED has summoned me. "Good! There are big political developments in Maharashtra. We, Balasaheb's Shivsainiks, are fighting a big battle. This is a conspiracy to stop me. Even if you behead me, I won't take the Guwahati route. "Arrest me! Jai Hind!" a defiant Raut said on Twitter.

In April, the ED provisionally attached assets worth more than Rs 11.15 crore of Raut's wife Varsha Raut and two of his associates as part of this investigation.

The attached properties are in the form of land held by Pravin M Raut, Sanjay Raut's aide and a former director of Guru Ashish Construction Pvt Ltd, at Palghar, Saphale (town in Palghar) and Padgha (in Thane district).

The attached properties also include a flat in Mumbai's suburb Dadar held by Varsha Raut and eight plots at Kihim beach in Alibaug jointly held by Varsha Raut and Swapna Patkar, wife of Sujit Patkar, the ED said in a statement.

According to the ED, Sujit Patkar is a close associate of Sanjay Raut. It is understood that the agency wants to question Sanjay Raut to know about his "business and other" links with Pravin Raut and Patkar and also about the property deals involving his wife.

In the Alibaug land deal, apart from the registered value, "cash" payments were made to the sellers, the agency had alleged.

Sanjay Raut had then termed the ED action an attack on middle class "Marathi manoos" and asserted that he will not be cowed by such moves and resist any act to put pressure on him

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